DIET AND SPIRITUALITY

ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਰਸ ਬਿਸਰਿ ਗਏ ਰਸ ਅਉਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥:
Raam rasu peeyaa re. Jih ras bisari gaye ras aour||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 337).
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A fickled mind that is attached to sense pleasures can never stay firm on Spiritual heights. Out of all physical senses of man's body, the sense of taste (tongue!) is the most difficult to control ("ਤਗੁ ਨ ਜਿਹਵਾ", sggs 471). This is why people go out of their way to justify their heinous habits of indulgence in gratification of the senses, particularly the sense of taste. However, as repeatedly emphasized in the scriptures, one of the most important disciplines necessary for linking with our True Nature (Joti-Svaroopa) within is the control of the tongue exercised both in the areas of food and speech. The edict of the SGGS (Sri Guru Granth Sahib) is that without its control it is impossible to follow any Spiritual path and become the Gurmukh (Brahm-Giaanee...).

  • ਜਿਹਵਾ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਏਕੁ ਸੁਆਉ ॥: Jihvaa indree eku suaaou (sggs 153).
  • ਜਿਹਵਾ ਸੁਆਦ ਲੋਭ ਮਦਿ ਮਾਤੋ ਉਪਜੇ ਅਨਿਕ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਜੋਨਿ ਭਰਮਤ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਹਉਮੈ ਬੰਧਨ ਕੇ ਭਾਰਾ ॥੨॥: Jihvaa suaad lobh mad maato upjai anik bikaar. Bahut joni bharmat dukh paaiaa haumai bandhan ke bhaaraa ||2|| (sggs 616).
  • ਏ ਰਸਨਾ ਤੂ ਅਨ ਰਸਿ ਰਾਚਿ ਰਹੀ ਤੇਰੀ ਪਿਆਸ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥...: Eae rasnaa too anras laag rahee teree piyaas na jaayi. Piyaas na jaayehorat kitaai jichar Hari raas payi (sggs 921).
  • ਜਿਤਨੀ ਭੂਖ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਾਦ ਹੈ ਤਿਤਨੀ ਭੂਖ ਫਿਰਿ ਲਾਗੈ ॥: Jitanee bhookh an ras saad hai titanee bhookh phiri laagai (sggs 167).
  • ਮਿਥਿਆ ਰਸਨਾ ਭੋਜਨ ਅਨ ਸ੍ਵਾਦ ॥: Mithiyaa rasna bhojan an swaad (sggs 269).

First thing first - to transform a conditioned consciousness to a Cosmic Consciousness (Joti-Svaroopa), the beauty of Simran (understanding Gurmat, Hukam, Shabad-Giaan, etc.) as stressed in the Gurbani is that it does not require to follow any dogmas, any observance of rituals, symbols, images, peculiar robes, bathing in any ponds or rivers, visit to any holy shrines or places, resort to Taantric practices, any special diets, embodied gurus, and so on.

However, mind-control is indicated in the Gurbani to be essential for a spiritual seeker. Although the SGGS does not recommend starvation or violent control of the senses, but we are repeatedly urged in the Gurbani to control our passions and avoid Mayaic, transitory, worldly temptations or desires. For, example, as we will see in the pages ahead, diet effects the body, mind, and intellect.

The one who has perfect control on his senses and mind is called the Gurmukh in the SGGS — his senses are directed by his dictation or plan. In other words, his mind is not vexed in passions or sense-gratification. Second, he does not let his senses act independently. Why? The senses are like venomous serpents. Like snakes, the senses do not like to be restricted. Rather, they like to act not only loosely but also without any control. Implication is that a spiritual seeker needs to be very strong to control these serpents of the senses (make them "without fangs") — like a snake charmer, who never allows his snakes to act on their own and leaves them "without fangs".

  • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਕੋਈ ਗਾਰੜੂ ਤਿਨਿ ਮਲਿ ਦਲਿ ਲਾਈ ਪਾਇ ॥: Gurmukhi koee gaararroo tini mali dali laaee paai (sggs 510).
  • ਦਸਨ ਬਿਹੂਨ ਭੁਯੰਗੰ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੰ ਗਾਰੁੜੀ ਨਿਵਾਰੰ ॥: Dasan bihoon bhuyangam mantram gaarurree nivaaram (sggs 1361).
  • ਆਸ ਅਨਿਤ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਿਟੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਰੋਗ ॥੧॥: Aas anit Gurmukh mitai Nanak naam arog ||1||: Desires for transitory things (ਨਾਸ-ਵੰਤ ਪਦਾਰਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਆਸ) are effaced for (the person) who has become the Gurmukh; O Nanak; Naam alone keeps (that person) free of the disease (of desires etc.) ||1|| (sggs 254).

Therefore, if one has already become the Gurmukh, then rest of this Reflection is not for him. Here is the Gurbani's ultimate edict:

  • ਰਾਰਾ ਰਸੁ ਨਿਰਸ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਰਸ ਸੁ ਰਸੁ ਪਹਿਚਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਇਹ ਰਸ ਛਾਡੇ ਉਹ ਰਸੁ ਆਵਾ ॥ ਉਹ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ਇਹ ਰਸੁ ਨਹੀ ਭਾਵਾ ॥੩੫॥: Raaraa rasu niras kari jaaniaa...: RARRA (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabets): (the person who) has found tastes (Mayaic tastes-ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਾਲੇ) to be tasteless (ਫਿੱਕਾ). Becoming tasteless (from Mayaic tastes-ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਾਲੇ, that person), has realized That Taste (Spiritual Bliss - ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ).  Abandoning these tastes (Mayaic tastes-ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਾਲੇ, that person), has found That Taste (Spiritual Bliss - ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ). (Because whosoever) has drank That Taste (of Divine Naam - ਆਤਮਕ ਗਿਆਨ...) , this taste (Mayaic-ਮਾਇਆ ਵਾਲਾ) is no longer pleasing (to that person). ||35||   (sggs 342).

Thus, the Gurbani urges us to become attuned to the Higher Taste (Aatm-Giaan, Shabad-Vichaar, Naam...) - the Gurmukh Lifestyle - then everything will automatically fall in place.

But those, like this author, who have not yet become the Gurmukh, are likely to be affected by the sense-gratification (Mayaic tastes - ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਾਲੇ - ਅਨਰਸ) that will likely hinder or slow down one's spiritual Unfoldment.

Effects of ਅਨਰਸ or unnatural tastes on our Mayaic mind are undenying. It promotes and invite more Taamas Guna in us (the quality of the Mayaic mind floundering in ignorance, darkness, inertia, etc.). For example, consumption of alcohol and certain foods produce more semen, thereby increasing Kaam (lust). Senses vexed in passions then act in certain ways to gratify Kaam, which makes one lose energy, peace and balance of the mind in the process. The Gurbani (sggs 838) calls this Taamas quality "ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਕੂਪ ॥ ਤਮ ਅਗਿਆਨ ਮੋਹਤ ਘੂਪ ॥ Sansaar bikhia koop. Tam agiaan mohat ghoop". This quality of Taamas in man is indicated to be a great hindrance in his progress on spiritual journey.

First thing to understand is that one who consumes Taamsic diet is no less worthy than the one who does not consume such diet. God dwells in all equally. In fact, according to the Gurbani, the four sources of creation or life [Andaj, Jeraj, Setaj, and Outbhuj (born from the egg, from the womb, from sweat and from the earth) - ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ)] are called Jantaa (ਜੰਤਾ), that is, individual beings or Jeeva.

  • ਜੇਤੇ ਦਾਣੇ ਅੰਨ ਕੇ ਜੀਆ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Jete daane ann ke jeeaa baajh n koi (sggs 472).
  • ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥: Andaj jeraj setaj outbhuj ghati ghati joti samaanee (sggs 1109).
  • ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਜੰਤਾ ॥: Andaj jeraj outbhuj setaj tere keete jantaa (sggs 596).

Thus, according to the Gurmat, all sources of creation are Jeeva (individual beings, life...). Then, what to eat and what not to eat? In other words, whatever, we eat, we will be eating other Jeev. Because, according to the Gurbani, each and every grain is a Jeev ("ਜੇਤੇ ਦਾਣੇ ਅੰਨ ਕੇ ਜੀਆ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ").

  • ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥: Kaounu maasu kaoun saagu kahaavai kisu mahi paap samaane (sggs 1289).

The Gurbani's Teaching is to become devoid of Mayaic Trishanaa - desireless (the Gurmukh). If you have already become desireless (i.e., the Gurmukh), than the remainder of this article is not for you because you already have gained a lot of mental strength and some changes in diet will not have any significant effect.

However, the Gurbani tells us that such souls are very "rare" in this world. On the other hand, the majority of us (over 99.9 percent) constantly desire the sensuous world (the Manmukhs); for our minds are not strong. Being the slave of our senses (mentally weak vexed in passions), we are easily affected. So every bit of control and discipline helps move forward on the Spiritual Life.

Simply put, it's not possible to control and ultimately conquer the mind without controlling the taste of the senses!

  • ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Baabaa horu khaanaa khusee khuaaru. Jitu khaadhe tanu peereeai man mahi chalahi vikaar ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 16).

Material researchers (modern scientists) study and analyze the foods according to their physical properties and how they react on the physical body. However the Spiritual Scientists (the Gurmukhs), who from ancient times delved in the Spiritual Science of foodstuff, consider the vibratory nature of the food in determining what is uplifting, stimulating, stultifying or harmful when consumed. Hence, the aim of a true seeker is to purify himself of material contamination by nurturing himself goodness through spiritually uplifting means. Such seeker is aware of the fact that even the food (including intoxicants) he consumes, and also the manner in which he partakes of it, has its effect on the body and consciousness according to its vibratory quality.

Therefore, regulation of diet, regulation of company, regulation of sleep, and so forth, is recommended in the Gurbani for the sincere seeker. For that reason, a true Giaanee (Wise Man) always eats light and less (Saatvic), as well as sleep less! Thus, he neither tortures his body, nor pampers it with sense gratification. Overeating or wrong eating is the enemy of meditative mind. Eating insufficiently, on the other hand, leads to physical and mental weakness. Similarly, oversleep dulls the nervous system; not enough sleep produces a tendency to sleep against one's will. All of this is undesirable to the Spiritual seeker.

  • ਗੰਧਣ ਵੈਣ ਸੁਣਹਿ ਉਰਝਾਵਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈਤ ਅਲਕਾਇਆ ॥ ਨਿੰਦ ਚਿੰਦ ਕਉ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਉਮਾਹਿਓ ਬੂਝੀ ਉਲਟਾਇਆ ॥੨॥ ਪਰ ਧਨ ਪਰ ਤਨ ਪਰ ਤੀ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਅਖਾਧਿ ਖਾਹਿ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ॥: Gandhan vain sunahi ourajhaavahi naam lait alakaaeiaa. Nind chindhkaou bahut oumaahio boojhee oulataaiaa ||2|| Par dhan par tan par tee nindaa akhaadh khaahi harkaaiaa (sggs 402).
  • ਸਾਦ ਸਹਜ ਕਰਿ ਮਨੁ ਖੇਲਾਇਆ ॥ ਤੈ ਸਹ ਪਾਸਹੁ ਕਹਣੁ ਕਹਾਇਆ ॥ ਮਿਠਾ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਕਉੜਾ ਖਾਇਆ ॥: Saad sahaj kari mann khelaaiaa. Tai sahi paasahu kahan kaaiaa. Mithaa kari kai kaurhaa khaaiaa (sggs 1243).
  • ਅਲਪ ਅਹਾਰ ਸੁਲਾਪ ਸੀ ਨਿੰਦ੍ਰਾ ਦਯਾ ਛਿਮਾ ਤਨ ਪ੍ਰੀਤਿ ॥: Alap ahaar sulbh see nidraa daya ke maakhan cheet (Guru Gobind Singh Jee, 1344).
  • ਖੰਡਿਤ ਨਿਦ੍ਰਾ ਅਲਪ ਅਹਾਰੰ ਨਾਨਕ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੋ ॥੮॥: Khandit nidraa alap ahaaram Nanak tatt beechaao ||8|| : Sleep little, and eat little; O Nanak, this is the Essence of Wisdom ||8|| (sggs 939).
  • Naaty-ashnatas tu yogo sti na caikaantam anashnatah...: There is no possibility of one's becoming a Yogi, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or too little (Gita 6:16).
  • Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Bible, Methew 4:4).

Overeating, fasting, eating foods that ruin ("ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ"), intoxicants, smoking, sleeping too much or too little is for those who are in the modes of ignorance and passion (Taamas and Raajas).

Simply put: Give the body its due, neither pampering nor abusing nor torturing it, and then forget the body! In a Natural way (Sahaj), thus, as the inner consciousness becomes spiritualized through progress in Bhagati, the body also becomes spiritualized; then its material demands gradually diminish, spontaneously.

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਮਨੁ ਟੇਕ ਨ ਟਿਕਈ ਨਾਨਕ ਭੂਖ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥: Binu naavai manu tek na tiakaee Nanak bhookh na jaaee (sggs 939).
Excessive and undesirable diet, and meditation (Jap, Naam, Shabad-Vichaar... ) do not go hand-in-hand. Therefore, for a sincere seeker, it's not even worth thinking much about foods, let alone eating much! Because if one subjects his body to overeating, or not eating enough, or alcohol, or smoking, etc., he cannot contemplate! Constant thinking of relishes and pleasures is indicative of bondage, sense-slavery, body-consciousness, or "I-am-the-body" idea. The only reason we are placed here on this earth is to transcend the sense-blind mind!
  • ਜਗ ਮਹਿ ਆਇਆ ਸੋ ਪਰਵਾਣੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਅਪਨਾ ਖਸਮੁ ਪਛਾਣੁ ॥੨॥: Jag mahi aaiaa so parvaan. Gurmukhi apnaa khasamu pashaanu ||2|| (sggs 867).
However, in order to transcend material consciousness or sense-slavery, we are asked to become Gurmukh (Spiritual Being). Not easy at all. As such, we need every help we can get —  we need to regulate everything in life including diet, company we keep, and so on. Until we become Self-realized, everything we do is in sense gratification. Why pour more fuel on blazing fire, ask the scriptures! Therefore, if we intend to ascend ourselves to the more uplifting mode of goodness and beyond, we must get into the habit of eating good, thinking good, speaking good and doing good. Otherwise, body and mind will end up becoming a depository of sensual trash!

This is why the Gurbani compares all sensual pleasures with a "mirage" or illusion. The cause of Jeeva's (individual being) bondage is enjoyment of sense gratification. Accordingly, we are time and again warned throughout the Gurbani and other scriptures not to indulge in sensuousness and passions. Instead, we are advised to Reflect on the Naam (Divine Knowledge, Aatam-Giaan...).

  • ਹਰਿਚੰਦਉਰੀ ਚਿਤ ਭ੍ਰਮੁ ਸਖੀਏ ਮ੍ਰਿਗ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਦ੍ਰੁਮ ਛਾਇਆ ॥ ਚੰਚਲਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਨ ਚਾਲਤੀ ਸਖੀਏ ਅੰਤਿ ਤਜਿ ਜਾਵਤ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਰਸਿ ਭੋਗਣ ਅਤਿ ਰੂਪ ਰਸ ਮਾਤੇ ਇਨ ਸੰਗਿ ਸੂਖੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥: Harichandauree chit bhram sakheeye mrig trisnaa dram chhaaiaa. Chanchan saath na chaaltee sakheeye ant taji jaavat maya. Ras bhogan ati roop ras mate in sang sookh na paaiaa (sggs 803).
Our needs are few, while wants of our fickle minds are almost limitless. However, instead of ministering only to our needs, in Spiritual ignorance, we create limitless wants and then spend rest of our life pursuing the false pleasures. Slowly but surely, we then become slave of our senses. In this context, this Gurbani Reflection will attempt to reflect on the following points:
  • Deep-rooted subconscious habits
  • Material nature
  • Kill your ego
  • Effects of diet on human behavior
  • Claiming to be equal to Masters
  • The Higher Taste: moving from animal to Divine Consciousness
Deep-Rooted Subconscious Habits

Instinctive mind is a bundle of habits or Vaasnaas. Further, it is a collection of ever changing desires, fears, notions or feelings arising from contact with gross objects. New habits are built into us from childhood. Some remain conscious and others enter our subconscious. However, due to our habitual identifications with different sense-objects, deep-rooted subconscious tendencies (Vaasnaas) are most difficult to overcome.

Thus, a man is ruled by his deep-rooted subconscious habits. These habits, in turn, form tendencies, moods, desires and fears. Early habits formed in the childhood create significant influence on our growing up. These habits are generally formed watching parents, other family members, teachers, friends, people we meet along the way, etc. At early stage, therefore, if we are not taught to form Spiritual habits, we are sure to form evil habits. Other factors that influence shaping our habits include environment and association. For example, undiscriminating association with the world creates bad habits in us.

  • ਜਿਹ ਕਰਣੀ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਸਰਮਿੰਦਾ ਇਹਾ ਕਮਾਨੀ ਰੀਤਿ ॥: Jih karnee hovahi sarmindaa ih kamaanee reeti (sggs 673).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਰਾਮੁ ਨ ਧਿਆਇਓ ਮੋਟੀ ਲਾਗੀ ਖੋਰਿ ॥: Kabeer Raamu n dhiaaio motee laagee khori (sggs 1368).
Mind is slave to routine, customs, and habits. Once mind becomes accustomed to a habit, it then likes to go on doing it. Eventually, habits become like "grooves" in which actions run. More a habit is indulged in, it becomes much easier for the mind to run in that familiar groove. After more repetitions, it begins to enjoy it. After that, the mind never wants to leave these beaten grooves or path. Some of these grooves are the results of impressions of the past lives, and some are the results of actions of present life.

Once a desire comes up, the fickle mind becomes agitated and finds no peace till the desire is fulfilled. In order to fulfill a desire, the first thing mind does is it brings itself into the action and establishes a groove or habit. Once a groove is established, like a locomotive, it does not want to leave the track (or groove ) on which it is set. All this is because man feels that he can gain everlasting happiness from never-lasting material objects!

Material contamination of our mind begins with bad habits such as trying to satisfy the senses of their demands,illicit sex, gambling, stealing, and so on. In fact bad habits such as illicit sex, gambling and stealing are all linked to consumption of intoxicants, etc. As the saying goes: "We are what we eat"!

Hence, what we consume has tremendous effect on an ordinary person's body, mind and intellect. For example, consumption of certain diet is generally very pleasing to an outgoing mind indulged in material life (Manmukh) - he gets hooked or addicted. Conversely, the same diet has no appeal to a sincere Spiritual aspirant (the Gurmukh) - he does not get hooked or addicted. Thus, diet is a function of an individual's choice based upon his goal in his life, that is, does one want to become the Gurmukh or stay as the Manmukh. No two ways about it!

Material Nature

Why does a man crave for a specific type of diet? Why do people perform certain actions, or act in certain ways? Why do mortals cater to certain habits, tendencies, desires and fears? The answers to these questions and more lie in the proper understanding of the three modes of material nature, also known as three qualities of Maya. The material nature (including all matter) is composed of three ingredients called Gunas or "quality". These three qualities or 3 Gunas are Saatav, Raajas, Taamas (Sat, Raj, Tam or Sato, Rajo, Tamo). In English, they can be called the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance, respectively.

  • ਤ੍ਰੈ ਗੁਣ ਆਪਿ ਸਿਰਜਿਅਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਮੋਹੁ ਵਧਾਇਆ ॥: Trai gun aap sirjian Maya moh vadhaaiaa (sggs 1237).
  • ਰਜ ਗੁਣ ਤਮ ਗੁਣ ਸਤ ਗੁਣ ਕਹੀਐ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਸਭ ਮਾਇਆ ॥ ਚਉਥੇ ਪਦ ਕਉ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਚੀਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੈ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਹੀ ਪਰਮ ਪਦੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: Raj gun tam gun sat gun kaheeai ih teri sabh maya. Chauthe pad kaou jo naru cheenhai tinh hee param padu paaiaa ||2|| (sggs 1123).

Our minds remain occupied by the mixture of these three modes of the material nature. According to the predomonance of one of these three modes of material nature acquired by our minds, one's temprament and faith can be considered as Saatavic, Raajasic, or Taamasic. These three qualities of material nature are like intertwined strands of the winding cord or rope of Maya. Through this medium, Maya holds in bondage all embodied beings. In other words, these are the three thought-conditions under which the human mind functions. These three thought-conditions have their specific desires or cravings.

In essence, the quality of an individual's actions (Karma), as well as his dietary habits depends on one's stage of Spiritual Development. For example, those in the mode of passion and ignorance identify themselves with body or flesh. On the other hand, those in the mode of goodness identify with Higher Taste.

  • ਜਿਉ ਕੂਕਰੁ ਹਰਕਾਇਆ ਧਾਵੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਲੋਭੀ ਜੰਤੁ ਨ ਜਾਣਈ ਭਖੁ ਅਭਖੁ ਸਭ ਖਾਇ ॥: Jiou kookaru harkaaiaa dhaavai dah dis jaai. Lobhee jantu n jaanaee Bhakhu Abhakhu sabh khaai (sggs 50).
  • ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਾਲਾਹ ਮੰਡੇ ਭਉ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥: Giaanu Gurru saalaah mande bhaou maasu aahaar (sggs 553).
  • ਕਰਣੀ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਸਤੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਰੁ ॥: Karnee laahani Satu Gurru sachu sraa kari saaru: So let good deeds be your distillery, and let Truth be the molasses you ferment; make the most excellent wine of Truth. (sggs 553).
Kill Your Ego

According to the Gurmat, one of the most noble qualities (Shubh Guna) a man needs for linking with his Mool (Source, Origin...) is Daiaa (mercy, compassion or kindness). Without Daiaa, one cannot fully pursue Dharma. Because, the Gurbani indicates Dharma to be the offspring of Daiaa. In other words, according to the Gurmat, if you are devoid of Daiaa, then you are devoid of Dharma; because, as Baabaa Nanak says, the Dharma is the offspring of Daiaa!

  • ਧੌਲੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਦਇਆ ਕਾ ਪੂਤੁ ॥: Dhaulu Dharmu Daiaa kaa pootu (sggs 3)!
  • ਮਨਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਬ ਜੀਅ ਦਇਆ ॥ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਬਰਤੁ ਸੰਪੂਰਨ ਭਇਆ ॥: Mani santokhu sarab jeeya daiaa. In bidh barat sampooran Bhaiaa ... (sggs 299).
  • ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਸਗਲ ਪੁੰਨ ਜੀਅ ਦਇਆ ਪਰਵਾਨੁ ॥: Athasathi teerath sagal punn jeeya daiaa parvaanu (sggs 136).
  • ਮਨਿ ਸੰਤੋਖੁ ਸਰਬ ਜੀਅ ਦਇਆ ॥ ਇਨ ਬਿਧਿ ਬਰਤੁ ਸੰਪੂਰਨ ਭਇਆ ॥: Mani santokhu sarab jeeya daiaa. In bidhi baratu sampooran Bhaiaa ... (sggs 299).
The qualification of a true Spiritual Being (Gurmukh) is that he will never put others into anxiety or fear. On the other hand, the qualification of a sense-driven individual (Manmukh) is that he will never hesitate to put others into anxiety or fear. The reason being so is that a Gurmukh is always busy killing his false self (false ego-sense or Haumai), while a Manmukh is always occupied papmering his false self!
  • ਸੋ ਜਾਗੈ ਜੋ ਤਤੁ ਬੀਚਾਰੈ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਮਰੈ ਅਵਰਾ ਨਹ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੩॥: So jaagai jo tatt veechaarai. Aap marai avraa nah maarai ||3|| (sggs 1128).
  • ਮਜ਼ਨ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਰ ਖ਼ੂਨਿ ਕਸ ਬੇ ਦਰੇਗ਼ ॥ ਤੁਰਾ ਨੀਜ਼ ਖ਼ੂੰ ਚਰਖ ਰੇਜ਼ਦ ਬਤੇਗ਼ ॥੬੯॥: Mazan teg bar khoon kas bedreg. Tura neez khoo charakh rezad bah teg ||69|| : Do not cut somebody's neck with knife; because Almighty's knife will cut your neck someday ||69|| (Zafarnaamaa, Guru Gobind Singh Jee, 1474).
  • ਸਿੰਘਚ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਜੋ ਨਰੁ ਜਾਨੈ ॥ ਐਸੇ ਹੀ ਠਗਦੇਉ ਬਖਾਨੈ ॥੨॥: Singhch bhojanu jo naru jaanai. Aise hee thag deou bakhaanai ||2|| (sggs 485).

So, the Gurbani asks us to stay Awake to the Shabad-Vichaar and killing the false self (Haumai).

Effects Of Diet On Human Behavior

The mind depends on the food for its formation. The food we take in is transformed in three different ways: The gross or the heaviest portion of it becomes the excrement; that of medium density is transformed into flesh; and the finest portion goes to form the mind. Thus the food we consume affect the mental temperament.

The quality of one's actions, attitudes and behavior depends on the quality of his mind. Since the mind is made of food, the quality of one's mind is significantly influenced by the quality of the food one consumed. In other words, the mind feeds on the food consumed. Therefore, in order to keep Pure mind, the food has to be kept as such! The indicates the diet of a Spiritual person (truely content person - ਸਤ ਸੰਤੋਖੀ) to be very little.

The Raajasic and Taamasic diet excites the mind. For example, mark the behavior or difference in nature of certain animals! Also, different kinds of foods produce different effects in different parts of the brain. Intoxicants, tea, coffee, and spicy and sour foods, for example, excite emotions and passions, and weaken the immune system. Shabad-Vichaar or Meditation (Jap) is impossible with such restless, unstable, imbalanced, crooked and corrupt mind. For Shabad-Vichaar, a calm mind is more conducive.

  • ਅਲੁ ਮਲੁ ਖਾਈ ਸਿਰਿ ਛਾਈ ਪਾਈ ॥ ਮੂਰਖਿ ਅੰਧੈ ਪਤਿ ਗਵਾਈ ॥: Alu malu khaaee siri chhaaee paaee. Moorakhi andhai pati Gvaaee. (sggs 467).
  • ਮਿਠਾ ਕਰਿ ਕੈ ਕਉੜਾ ਖਾਇਆ ॥: Mithaa kari kai kaurhaa khaaiaa (sggs 1243).
The corruption of the mind and physical senses go together. The first limb of the physical body to go out of control is tongue, followed by the part of genital. When the tongue is out of control, the genital (i.e., the urge for sex or lust) also goes out of control. Raajasic and Taamasic diet is very conducive to exciting the genital part. When lust remains unfulfilled, it manifests into anger. As a result, man looses control over mind and body, and behaves as an animal. In this heinous condition, man has no possibility of becoming a true Bhagta.
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਕਾਮਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧਿ ਕਿਨੈ ਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਪੁਛਹੁ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Nanak kaami krodhi kinai n paaio pushu giaanee jaai ||1|| (sggs 551).
  • ਮੈਲਾ ਖਾਇ ਫਿਰਿ ਮੈਲੁ ਵਧਾਏ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੈਲੁ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਵਣਿਆ ॥੭॥: Mailaa khaai phiri mailu vadhaaye manmukh mailu dukhu paavaniaa ||7|| (sggs 121).
  • ਉਰਝਿ ਰਹਿਓ ਇੰਦ੍ਰੀ ਰਸ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਿਓ ਬਿਖੈ ਠਗਉਰੀ ਖਾਵਤ ਹੇ ॥੧॥: Urajhi rahio indree ras prerio bikhai thagouree khavat hai ||1|| (sggs 821).
As revealed in the Gurbani, from cradle to grave, a sense-blind man goes through 10 stages of wasting his life. Out of these 10 stages, in one stage man runs after only food and drinks. As a result, in the immediate next stage his mind becomes mad and blind in his lust. Baabaa Nanak puts it so beautifully as follows:
  • ਪੰਜਵੈ ਖਾਣ ਪੀਅਣ ਕੀ ਧਾਤੁ ॥: Panjve khaan peevan kee dhaatu (sggs 137).
  • ਛਿਵੈ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਪੁਛੈ ਜਾਤਿ ॥: Chhivai kaamu n poochhai jaati: In the sixth stage, lust (overpowers him and in his lust he even) does not care for Jaat Kujaat (sggs 137)
Claiming To Be Equal To Masters

Essentially, there are two kinds of living beings: (a) liberated (the Gurmukh), and (b) conditioned (the Manmukh). Liberated Beings are those who have Realized their Tru Nature (Joti-Svaroop), and, hence, have freed themselves from the sense-slavery. By controlling their senses, they have ascended themselves to be situated in the Pure Consciousness.

Conditioned beings, on the other hand, are those whose senses, mind, intellect, and consciousness are contaminated by Maya. In other words, conditioned beings try to dominate the material nature and, hence, become subjected to its effects — lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride, enviousness, stubborn mindedness, suffering from repeated birth and death, and so on.

  • ਇਹੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਪਾਹਿਆ ਪਿਆਰੇ ਲੀਤੜਾ ਲਬਿ ਰੰਗਾਏ ॥:  Ihu tanu maya pahiya piaare leetra labi rangaaye (sggs 721).
Defects of conditioned beings include: (1) he has propensity to cheat others; (2) he is illusioned by Maya or ignorance, consequently, he does not know his true position in relation to his Mool (Source, Origin...) and he has taken the body as his real Self as a result, he he will anything to fulfill the ever ending demands of his physical body; (3) his senses are defiled, consequently, he is unable to gain the Divine Knowledge (Aatam-Giaan, Bibek-Budhi...) as filthy senses are unfit to do so; and (4) due to such conditioning, he commits mistakes.

TheGurbani has provided us with an estimate of such conditioned beings (the Manmukh) in our human society. The Gurbani also reveal to us that those individuals (the Gurmukh) who truly abide in Truth (Shabad-Surti, Joti-Svaroopa, etc.) are very "rare". Out of millions, hardly one knows Reality (Mool-Source, Origin...). This means that over 99.9 percent people are simply living in a state of mental delusion (numeral "one" divided by "million")! This is to say, only less than 0.1 percent people are truly interested in Transcendental Knowledge!

  • ਜਨ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਕੋਊ ਭਜਨੁ ਰਾਮ ਕੋ ਪਾਵੈ ॥੨॥੩॥: Jan Nanak kotan mai kou bhajan raam ko paavai ||2||3|| (sggs 219).
  • ਕੋਟਨ ਮੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਕੋਊ ਨਾਰਾਇਨੁ ਜਿਹ ਚੀਤਿ ॥੨੪॥: Kotan mai Nanak kou narainu jih cheeti ||24|| (sggs 1427).
  • Manushyaanaamam sahasreshu kashchid yatati siddhaye, yatataam api siddgaanaamam kashchin maamam vetti tattvatah: Among thousands of men, one strives for spiritual perfection; and, among the blessed true seekers that assduously try to reach Me, hardly one knows Me in fact (Geeta 7-3).
There are four principles common to human beings and animals — animals eat, sleep, defend and mate. Similarly, about 99.9 percent of humans are also merely engaged in these animal propensities namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. In this abominable condition, mortals claim to be equal to Spiritual Masters or God. In such a "filthy" state of the senses-mind-intellect, an individual begins to logic that "If the Master ate that, what's wrong me eating it", or "if the Master did this, what's wrong me doing it". This is a heinous show of false ego-sense and ignorance at its best! If a crow tries to be equal to a swan, he is certain to make fool of himself!
  • ਖਸਮੈ ਕਰੇ ਬਰਾਬਰੀ ਫਿਰਿ ਗੈਰਤਿ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪਾਇ ॥: Khasmai kare braabaree phiri gairati andari paai (sggs 474).
  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਰੀਸੈ ਹੋਰਿ ਕਚੁ ਪਿਚੁ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਕੂੜੇ ਝੜਿ ਪੜੀਐ ॥ ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਹੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੋ ਝਖਿ ਮਰਦੇ ਕੜੀਐ ॥੯॥: Satigur kee reesai hor kach pich bolde se koorhiaar koorhe jharhi parheeai ... (sggs 304).
  • ਹੰਸਾ ਵੇਖਿ ਤਰੰਦਿਆ ਬਗਾਂ ਭਿ ਆਯਾ ਚਾਉ ॥ ਡੁਬਿ ਮੁਏ ਬਗ ਬਪੁੜੇ ਸਿਰੁ ਤਲਿ ਉਪਰਿ ਪਾਉ ॥੩॥ (sggs 585).
Since the senses of a Spiritual Master or an Enlightened Man (the Gurmukh) are all Divine; they are ever in a state of perfect control and harmony. They have no material desires. During their stay on this earth, whatever they do is for the Divine Cause only, not to gratify their personal senses or desires. While the sense infatuated mortals (over 99.9%) eat or perform actions to simply gratify their senses and material desires. To justify our wicket sense tendencies, we say "If the Guru did it, I can do it too". However, our limited senses and mind as well as our false ego-sense never let us inquire into a basic question: Have we lifted ourselves to the Divine Consciousness of the Masters or the Gurmukh?

The Spiritual Master or the Gurmukh is beyond the effects of tripple-qualitied Maya. His actions are selfless. As such, he only wants to help embodied beings for final redemption. That's his job. By doing this job, sometime the Master has to do certain things. But the majority of us belong to the 99.9 percent category; having our soul covered with rubbish of limited senses, limited mind, and inflated ego! Perhaps that's why the SGGS urges us to do the Guru's Words, not His actions.

  • ਗੁਰਿ ਕਹਿਆ ਸਾ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਵਹੁ ॥ ਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਕਰਣੀ ਕਾਹੇ ਧਾਵਹੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੁਰਮਤਿ ਸਾਚਿ ਸਮਾਵਹੁ ॥੨੭॥: Guri kahiaa saa kaar kamaavahu. Gur kee karanee kaahai dhaavahu. Nanak Gurmati saachi samaavahu ||27|| (sggs 933).
To justify sense-gratification, many often quote the following verse of Baabaa Nanak: "Maas maas kari moorakh jhagre...": meaning, the fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom...". (sggs 1289).

First of all, we need to ask: have we raised our consciousness to the level of Baabaa Nanak? If someone has become Baabaa Nanak (that is, Brahm Giaanee, the Gurmukh), then for him there is no questions or answers, birth or death, light or darkness, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, this or that; for he has become Living Liberated (Jeevanmukta). If not, then one needs every help he can get to reach to the mental state of Baabaa Nanak! Otherwise Naam Simran, meditation, devotion or Bhagti, religion, Dharma, Kirtan, Satsang, Shabad Vichaar, etc., has no meaning!

Second, as repeatedly declared in the Gurbani, the only cause of Jeeva's bondage is attachment to enjoyment for sense gratification. The Guru who has made this declaration countless times in the Gurbani, how the same Guru can encourage us to enjoy sense pleasures? He cannot. Because his only business is to redeem the humanity from bondage, not other way around! A true Guru, thus, cannot contradict himself. All contradictions exist in our sense infatuated consciousness. If any verse of the Gurbani is viewed esoterically in line with the Spirit of the entire SGGS, one will not see any confusion or problem there.

Third, if we read the rest of the Shabad from which this verse is quoted, then we will realize that the whole Shabad was spoken to the hypocritical clergy or Pandits (Pujaarees, or the Manmukh), who pretended to be pure on the outside, whilst they were impure on the inside. In their prejudices and false pride, these Pujaarees usually pretend of maintaining superficial cleanliness by, for example, protecting their body, kitchen or food from being touched by anybody else.

If our lifestyle is same as the hypocritical clergy or Pandits (Pujaarees, or the Manmukh ), then we are not Sikhs, although we may call ourselves Sikhs based on the family of birth, etc. The name "Sikh" is not a social status or a title; it's a Higher State one has to reach through Aatmic-Giaan. As repeatedly declared in the Gurbani, one cannot reach there with affinity for sense gratification. Therefore, if one is a true "Sikh" (Spiritual seeker), then how he or she can even think of sense gratification in the first place, knowing that Spirituality and sense gratification are of the opposing nature. Hence, how in the world a noble Spiritual Master and a Teacher like Baabaa Nanak can encourage any "Sikh" to engage in sense gratification? He never did, for the goal of a saintly person is to usher ignorant people away from Mayaic activities. Not other way around.

Here is an event from Baabaa Nanak's life. Very briefly, it's said that once on his way Baabaa Nanak visited the city of Lahore. Among other sinful activities, there he saw the city full of slaughter houses, in which the countless animals were slaughtered early morning each day for human consumption. In Indian spiritual traditions, early morning hours are considered very conducive for Rabb -Dee-Sifat-Slaah (Naam-Simran, meditation, God's Praises etc.). But, instead of that, during the early morning hours all he could hear were the shrieks of animals being slaughtered throughout the city. Upon hearing seeing this, out of compassion for all beings, there Baabaa Nanak uttered the following verse:

  • ਲਾਹੌਰ ਸਹਰੁ ਜਹਰੁ ਕਹਰੁ ਸਵਾ ਪਹਰੁ ॥੨੭॥: Laahor saharu jaharu kaharu savaa paharu ||27|| (sggs 1412).

This is Baabaa Nanak! Not what our foolishness and corrupt intellect portrays him to be. In truth, it is one's instinctive mind — which has been swayed by the life's sensuousness — that entertains the exoteric meanings of the scriptural statements. In fact we are urged not once, but thousands of times in the Gurbani to kill this blind-mind which entertains the thoughts of sense gratification. Because, without killing it, we cannot hope to Realize our Spiritual Nature.

The Gurbani time and again reminds us that the taste of the elixir of Divine Name and the other taste of worldly objects are of the opposing nature. Accordingly, no true Spiritual Master will ever encourage his disciples to engage in consuming Abhakh which is unconducive to Spiritual progress. It is a shear jealousy that leads an immature and unawakened individual to act like being equal to the Masters. Perhaps not knowing that the jealousy only retards Spiritual progress in the seeker!

  • ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਰੀਸੈ ਹੋਰਿ ਕਚੁ ਪਿਚੁ ਬੋਲਦੇ ਸੇ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਕੂੜੇ ਝੜਿ ਪੜੀਐ ॥ ਓਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਮੁਖਿ ਹੋਰੁ ਹੈ ਬਿਖੁ ਮਾਇਆ ਨੋ ਝਖਿ ਮਰਦੇ ਕੜੀਐ ॥੯॥: Satigur kee reesai hor kach pich bolde se koorhiaar koorhe jharhi parheeai ... (sggs 304).

Also, the Gurbani never gets tired of telling us that there is only One Jot (Cosmic Light) which pervades everyplace. What it means is that if I hurt somebody else, I am hurting myself; if I cheat somebody else, I am cheating myself; if I kill somebody else, I am killing myself; and so on. Now, think, how the same Gurbani can tell us it's all right to do anything for the sake of sense gratification!

  • ਪਕਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਆਨਿਆ ਦੇਹ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਕਉ ਬਿਸਮਿਲਿ ਕੀਆ ॥...: Pakari jeeu aaniaa deh binaasee maatee kau bismil keeaa. Joti saroop anaahat laagee kahu halaal kiaa keeaa (sggs 1350).
  • ਸਰਜੀਉ ਕਾਟਹਿ ਨਿਰਜੀਉ ਪੂਜਹਿ ਅੰਤ ਕਾਲ ਕਉ ਭਾਰੀ ॥: Sarjeeou kaatahi nirjeeu poojahi ant kaal kaou bhaaree (sggs 332).
  • ਸਲੋਕੁ ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ੧ ॥ ਕਲਿ ਕਲਵਾਲੀ ਕਾਮੁ ਮਦੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਪੀਵਣਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਮੋਹਿ ਭਰੀ ਪੀਲਾਵਾ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੁ ॥ ਮਜਲਸ ਕੂੜੇ ਲਬ ਕੀ ਪੀ ਪੀ ਹੋਇ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਕਰਣੀ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਸਤੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਚੁ ਸਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਸਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਣ ਮੰਡੇ ਕਰਿ ਸੀਲੁ ਘਿਉ ਸਰਮੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਈਐ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਖਾਧੈ ਜਾਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥: Salok Mardaanaa 1 ॥ Kali kalvaalee kaam mad manooyaa peevanhaar ... (sggs 553).
  • ਮਰਦਾਨਾ ੧ ॥ ਕਾਇਆ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਆਪੁ ਮਦੁ ਮਜਲਸ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਧਾਤੁ ॥ ਮਨਸਾ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਕੂੜਿ ਭਰੀ ਪੀਲਾਏ ਜਮਕਾਲੁ ॥ ਇਤੁ ਮਦਿ ਪੀਤੈ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਬਹੁਤੇ ਖਟੀਅਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਗੁੜੁ ਸਾਲਾਹ ਮੰਡੇ ਭਉ ਮਾਸੁ ਆਹਾਰੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਇਹੁ ਭੋਜਨੁ ਸਚੁ ਹੈ ਸਚੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਆਧਾਰੁ ॥੨॥ ਕਾਂਯਾਂ ਲਾਹਣਿ ਆਪੁ ਮਦੁ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਤਿਸ ਕੀ ਧਾਰ ॥ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਮੇਲਾਪੁ ਹੋਇ ਲਿਵ ਕਟੋਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਭਰੀ ਪੀ ਪੀ ਕਟਹਿ ਬਿਕਾਰ ॥੩॥: Mardaanaa 1 ॥ Kaayaa laahani aap mad majlas trisnaa dhaat ... (sggs 553).
  • ਜੋ ਦੂਜੈ ਭਾਇ ਸਾਕਤ ਕਾਮਨਾ ਅਰਥਿ ਦੁਰਗੰਧ ਸਰੇਵਦੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਫਲ ਸਭੁ ਅਗਿਆਨੁ ॥੨॥: Jo doojai bhaai saakat kaamanaa arath duragandh sarevade so nihafal sabh agiaan ||2||: The Saakat (Maya stricken - ਮਾਇਆ-ਵੇੜ੍ਹੇ) in their love of duality (or Maya) and sensual desires, harbor foul-smelling urges (ਵਿਸ਼ੇ ਵਿਕਾਰਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਲੱਗਣਾਂ - to be engrossed in passions). They are totally useless and ignorant (ਆਤਮਕ ਜੀਵਨ ਵਲੋਂ ਬੇ-ਸਮਝ) ||2|| (sggs 734).
We can become pure on the inside (the Gurmukh) by following the Giaan of the Gurbani; which include many regulations. If one has lifted himself to the Transcendental state of a Gurmukh, then he is Jeevanmukta; thereby none of the regulations apply to him (for he has full control on his mind and senses...).
  • ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਿਅ ਮਾਨੇ ਤਿਨ ਕੀ ਰੀਸਾ ॥ ਕੂੜੇ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਹਾਠੀਸਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Jo priya maane tin kee reesaa. Koore moorakh kee haatheesaa ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 738).
  • ਹਰਿ ਬਿਨੁ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲਾਗਈ ਭਗਤਨ ਕਉ ਮੀਠਾ ॥ ਆਨ ਸੁਆਦ ਸਭਿ ਫੀਕਿਆ ਕਰਿ ਨਿਰਨਉ ਡੀਠਾ ॥: Hari binu kashu n lagaee bhagtan kaou meethaa. Aan suaad sabh feekiyaa kari nirnaou deethaa (sggs 708).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਖੂਬੁ ਖਾਨਾ ਖੀਚਰੀ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੋਨੁ ॥ ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥੧੮੮॥: Kabeer khoob khaanaa kheecharee jaa mahi amrit lon. Heraa rotee kaarne galaa ktaavai kayun ||188|| (sggs 1374).

The Higher Taste: Moving From Animal Nature To Divine Nature

Perhaps now one can appreciate as to why we are so much discouraged by the Gurbani from acting as a Manmukh — it adds to our "filth". If there is a cause, there is an effect. For every activity (cause), there is a reaction or result (effect). Every debt must be paid off by the doer sooner or later. This is the Eternal Law that brings back the results of one's actions to him. There is no escape from it. Baabaa Nanak says:

  • ਕਿਰਤੁ ਪਇਆ ਨਹ ਮੇਟੈ ਕੋਇ ॥: Kiratu paiaa nah metai koi (sggs 154).
The job of the Gurbani is to discourage us from accumulating more"filth" or Lekhaa, not the other way around! The departure of sense-slavery makes room for Inner Purity. Once the seeker has developed his Inner-Purity, the mind grows richer in its receptivity, alertness, comprehension, and in its power of apprehension. Such a mind becomes fit for plunging into Shabad-Vichaar, and thereby, appreciating the Higher taste of Divine Love (Bhagati). Through the sincere practice of attaching attention to the Higher taste, one can certainly detach from the lower tastes.

If one lives by a constant thought-current as "I am the Mool" ("Joti-Svaroopa"), he can not be lured or attracted by the sense objects. On the contrary, if one's continuous memory is "I am the body ", he is merely a slave of his senses. In such a conditioned stage, all he can think of is material objects such as foods, sleep, wine, lust, and so on.

  • ਰੈਣਿ ਗਵਾਈ ਸੋਇ ਕੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਹੀਰੇ ਜੈਸਾ ਜਨਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਉਡੀ ਬਦਲੇ ਜਾਇ ॥੧॥: Raini gavaayee soyi kai divis gavaayiyaa khaayi. Heere jaisaa janam hai kayudee badale jaai ||1|| (sggs 156).

The purpose of life is not to meditate on relishes, drinks, lust, etc. According to the Gurbani, the only purpose of this precious human life is to reestablish our lost relationship with our Unconditioned Consciousness (Joti-Svaroopa). The journey to Realize this goal begins at the mode of "goodness" (Saatav Guna). Accordingly, the mode of "goodness" is not an end by itself; it is just the beginning. Uncondusive diet, actions, habits, tendencies and desires will not aid in achieving this goal. If one keeps gratifying senses and hope to Realize his Mool (Source...), he is in utter illusion (Maya)!

  • ਮਃ ੧ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਖਾਧੈ ਕਿਆ ਪੈਧੈ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਾ ਮਨਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਮੇਵਾ ਕਿਆ ਘਿਉ ਗੁੜੁ ਮਿਠਾ ਕਿਆ ਮੈਦਾ ਕਿਆ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਕਪੜੁ ਕਿਆ ਸੇਜ ਸੁਖਾਲੀ ਕੀਜਹਿ ਭੋਗ ਬਿਲਾਸ ॥ ਕਿਆ ਲਸਕਰ ਕਿਆ ਨੇਬ ਖਵਾਸੀ ਆਵੈ ਮਹਲੀ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਚੇ ਨਾਮ ਵਿਣੁ ਸਭੇ ਟੋਲ ਵਿਣਾਸੁ ॥੨॥: Ma: 1 || Kiaa khaadhhai kiaa paidhhai hoe ||jaa man naahee sachaa soe ||kiaa maevaa kiaa ghio gurr mit(h)aa kiaa maidhaa kiaa maas ||kiaa kaparr kiaa saej sukhaalee keejehi bhog bilaas || kiaa lasakar kiaa naeb khavaasee aavai mehalee vaas ||naanak sachae naam vin sabhae ttol vinaas ||2|| (sggs 142).

We have to be practical. No denying that it's not practical to avoid contact with the sense-objects. For example, meat is part of our own body. Also, many foods we eat get automatically converted into alcohol in the stomach. During certain illnesses, some medications we we have to take contain alcohol content or cause drowsiness (Nashaa).

  • ਝੂਠੈ ਰੰਗਿ ਖੁਆਰੁ ਕਹਾਂ ਲਗੁ ਖੇਵੀਐ ॥: Jhoothai rang khuaar kehaan lagu khaeveeai (sggs 1363).
  • ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਹੋਛੈ ਰਸਿ ਮਾਤਾ ॥: Har ras shod hoshhai ras maataa (sggs 376).
  • ਰੇ ਮੂੜੇ ਤੂ ਹੋਛੈ ਰਸਿ ਲਪਟਾਇਓ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸੰਗਿ ਬਸਤੁ ਹੈ ਤੇਰੈ ਬਿਖਿਆ ਸਿਉ ਉਰਝਾਇਓ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Re moorre tu hoshhai ras lapataaiou. Amrit sang basat hai terai bikhiaa siou ourajhaaiou ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 1017).
  • ਰਸਨਾ ਸਾਦ ਚਖੈ ਭਾਇ ਦੂਜੈ ਅਤਿ ਫੀਕੇ ਲੋਭ ਬਿਕਾਰੇ ॥ ਜੋ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਸਾਦ ਚਖਹਿ ਰਾਮ ਨਾਮਾ ਸਭ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਾਦ ਬਿਸਾਰੇ ॥੫॥: Rasanaa saad chakhai bhaai doojai ati feeke lobh bikaare. Jo gurmukh saad chakhahi raam naamaa sabh an ras saad bisaare ||5|| (sggs 980).

The Bhagti-Yoga or Divine Life (Gurmukh Lifestyle) involves many principles which need to be adhered to. One of the principles involves not to succumb to the demands of the senses. The whole process of Yog (union with God) is to purify us. Therefore, to become a Spiritual Man (Gurmukh), one needs not to give up everythin, but he has to adjust his habits.

However, one must extremely be alert and vigilant. If one adheres, say for example to a strict Saatavic diet, but if he stops right there without following other principles of Spiritual Living (the Gurmukh Lifestyle) and thus remains devoid of Divine Life, then his Spiritual progress is sure to stop right there as well. For this reason, diet should not be considered an end by itself. The Masters and Bhagats has tried to explain in the Gurbani to different people in different circumstances, in different environment, at different occasions and times. Unfortunately, the Masters have to use our limited language in explaining the Unlimited Truth. Without Intuitive Reasoning and discrimination (Viveka), one is subject to confusion and ambiguity about the sublime essence of the teachings of the Masters.

Once we advance in Spirituality, undesirable habits gradually go away. This is a sure process. Where there is a light, darkness can not and will not stay there. Once we develop a Higher Taste of Gur-Shabad, the other tastes of mundane objects will have no appeal to us. Without developing the Higher Taste, we will be subjected to sense-salvery (animal consciousness).

  • ਰਸਨਾ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਚਾਖੁ ਮੁਯੇ ਜੀਉ ਅਨ ਰਸ ਸਾਦ ਗਵਾਏ ॥: Rasnaa Hari ras chaakh muye jeeyo an ras saad gavaaye (sggs 246).
  • ਰਾਮ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ਰੇ ॥ ਜਿਹ ਰਸ ਬਿਸਰਿ ਗਏ ਰਸ ਅਉਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥: Raam rasu peeyaa re. Jih ras bisari gaye ras aour ||1||Rahaaou|| (sggs 337).
  • ਰਾਰਾ ਰਸੁ ਨਿਰਸ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਨਿਰਸ ਸੁ ਰਸੁ ਪਹਿਚਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਇਹ ਰਸ ਛਾਡੇ ਉਹ ਰਸੁ ਆਵਾ ॥ ਉਹ ਰਸੁ ਪੀਆ ਇਹ ਰਸੁ ਨਹੀ ਭਾਵਾ ॥੩੫॥: Raaraa (a letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet) ras niras kar jaaniyaa. Hoyi niras su ras pahichaaniyaa. Ih ras chhade oh ras aavaa. Oh ras peeyaa ih ras nahee bhaavaa ||35|| (sggs 342).
  • ਅਨ ਰਸੁ ਚੂਕੈ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਮੰਨਿ ਵਸਾਏ ॥: Ann rasu chookai Hri rasu manni vasaaye (sggs 115).
The Spiritual Guides have asserted that the physical health, mental harmony, and all-round happiness depend primarily upon one's inner thought-habits and not upon his outer luxury or pleasures. Therefore, the basic question to ask oneself is: Can I attain Self-improvement and Spiritual-Unfoldment by a Bikaaree mind? The Gurbani provides us with an authoritative answer: No!
  • ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਕੀ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਰਸੁ ਘੋੜੇ ਰਸੁ ਸੇਜਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਰਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਟਿ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥੨॥: Ras suinaa ras rupaa kaaman ras parmal kee vaas. Ras ghore ras sejaa mandar ras meethaa ras maas. eto ras sareer ke kai ghat Naam nivaas ||2|| (sggs 15).

— T. Singh
www.gurbani.org